The professional HR services sector is not only getting crowded, there are also few differentiators in the services being provided. L’AINE Services Limited, an HR organization that has been around for over 18 years, stands out from her competitors. The company has seen a lot of growth and with it, the corresponding change in talent and strategy, but the vision of being the leading provider of HR solutions in Ghana as well as across her borders has remained the same. In L’AINE’s efforts to differentiate herself from the throng, a full-edged marketing team was created to develop brand equity and create and implement a marketing strategy to position L’AINE for further growth in the Ghanaian market and beyond. Their e‑orts were crowned this year when the Chief Executive of the company, Mrs. Ellen Maama Hagan, was adjudged the CIMG Marketing Woman of the Year-2011 and the Head of Marketing, Mr. Kofy Hagan received the award for the CIMG Print Advert of the Year-2011; for the ‘Bending Over Backwards’ advert he conceptualized and designed.
Kofy on HR
In the past, the HR function in Ghana was seen to be what I term an ‘unnecessary necessity’. Many organizations had some inkling that there should be an HR function within their framework; however, the import of the function’s role was obscure. HR was often relegated to the background and only called upon for disciplinary issues, performance appraisals, sta‑ welfare and a myriad of administrative duties that take up most of the time. There is however, a paradigm shift in the way HR is being perceived in Ghana these days and I like to think that in our own small way, we form a part of that catalyst for change with our continuous e‑ort to use our publication, the HR Focus magazine, to educate on the importance of practicing HR as part of strategy.
We now live in a world where money and technology alone do not guarantee growth and productivity. We have entered the era of humans, where people, more than ever before, are the driving force of business success. The strategic role that HR must play in an organization’s development therefore, can never be understated and organizations must embrace this concept in order to attract and retain top talent, manage their performance and develop them to drive the success of their business. At L’AINE, we strongly believe in this and we provide innovative workforce solutions that make the management of your human capital a ‘walk in the park’ and power your business success.
Ellen on Marketing & Operation-Brand-L’AINE
We have learnt that marketing is presenting our business and the services we provide in such a way as to make them desirable to our customers. How do we reach our customers? For 15 years, we relied mainly on word of mouth and repeat business and kept a low prole. We focused on direct selling and relationship building to grow our client base and generate revenue. Now, we use di‑erent means; advertising, sales promotion, direct selling and corporate communications and collectively, that is how marketing in L’AINE is done.
Initially, we thought branding and marketing were one and the same. We deliberately put a plan together to build a brand that resonated in the minds of our customers. We became aware that branding is vital to the success of a business and that it made loyal c u s t o m e r s , advocates and even evangelists out of those who buy. We did not want our L’AINE brand to explicitly say “buy me” but instead we wanted it to say “This is what I am. This is why I exist, if you agree and if you like me, you can buy me, support me, and recommend me to your friends.” Especially in these times where there is a proliferation of c o m p a n i e s springing up delivering HR related services, it became even more important to let our brand speak and pull customers to us. We wanted the brand to be the preferred choice, not only because we deliver the best quality service and not only because we are the pacesetters in this business, but because of the lived experience of the brand.
When it became clear that we needed to do more than just branding, the branding unit was expanded to a marketing department in order to streamline our scattered marketing eorts. The results…? You catch your customers’ attention and you remain in their minds long after the branding wave has passed. It is no wonder that after eighteen years, we are now receiving awards for what we have always been doing. We thank God for how far He has brought us and I salute our marketing team for being consistent in delivering good work.
Kofy on Marketing the leading HR Company
I started my career in marketing doing sales for L’AINE and my task was basically to take the services to the doorsteps of the client. Not too long after that, I was moved into the branding unit where my role was to develop the L’AINE brand. The objective of developing the L’AINE brand image was to strengthen an already established position as the HR organization of choice for our clients. Having that in mind, it was important that our visual identity was striking and memorable and this was seen in everything from our branded pens and folders, business cards and letterheads to our corporate wear, o‑ce buildings and interior décor and advertisements.
After a year of improving the company’s visual communication, the marketing department was created to improve upon L’AINE’s entire marketing eort. Even though marketing had always been practiced in L’AINE, there was no clear-cut strategy and for a company striving for excellence on all fronts, a well structured marketing department was the next move as far as further growth was concerned.
With a marketing team in place, L’AINE set out on an integrated marketing communication plan that involved branding and advertising, research and development, PR and corporate social responsibility, sales promotion and direct selling, sponsorship and events, all together as a unified force. Services marketing is never easy and standing tall amongst our competitors has not happened overnight. We are proud of what we have been able to achieve and we know that we have set the pace in Ghana as far as the marketing of professional HR services is concerned.
By: DR. Mrs. Ellen M. Hagan